What does Adaptation mean to me?
As I read about adaptation, I see a resourceful teacher who is often putting the learning into the students’ hands. It’s posing questions, allowing time for students to manipulate, ask more questions, and problem solve on their own. I use adaptation in my room on a daily basis. I’m always putting questions back to the students after they’ve asked me. If they ask me what they should do or show me a problem, I ask them, “What do they think they should do?” or ”How could they solve that problem?” I’m their guiding and facilitating but the kids are experimenting, questioning and problem solving. Many times at the kindergarten level, they may not have the prior experiences or the self-confidence to problem solve and ask those deeper questions. I often rely on the help peers to offer ideas and suggestions as we try to problem solve together.
This year I’ve tried to be more aware of how often I provide and allow kids to be creative. I believe in it and I know that creativity builds strong confident innovators but it can be messy and time consuming. I have a hard time with messy and time consuming but I’m willing to go the extra mile when I know it provides the best learning situation. As I’ve tried implementing creative ideas, I have noticed that the “product” is not often what I would have intended or wanted but the process was so much more powerful. I see a class of students who want to create, reuse and think outside of the box more so than I have seen in the past. It has also helped that I have a student who is extremely creative on her own and has helped “inspire” the others. I still find myself at times having difficulty with the mess and the complete lack of control but I do think they are learning so much from peer support, trial and error and complex thinking.
Instruction (how I teach)
Giving students choices
Responding back with questions to their questions…What are some ways you can solve the problem?
Encouraging peer problem solving
Giving students time and opportunities to be creative
Cooperative learning groups
Brainstorming ideas on topical writing ideas/prompts
Class voting opportunities
Open-ended discussions, writing, reading times
Teaching with essential questions
Providing challenge activities and differentiated lessons in L.A., math, and centers
Discipline (what I teach)
Math –think alouds and sharing how to solve problems in different ways/multiple strategies
Earth Day unit- create musical instruments, art from junk
Create your own “have to’s”
Farm unit…Venn diagram…Create your own cow…3D cow
Comparing similarities and differences with discussion and practice (friend interview, similar/different activity, at home venn digram & interview)
Classroom set up to encourage exploration and creativity with centers and learning areas including science and art
Students grouped in cooperative groups
Student & parent goal setting
Standards based assessment